Fluvial and lacustrine deposits of the Miocene Wassuk Group, exposed in Coal Valley, west-central Nevada, are divided into five lithofacies: (1) diatomite, claystone, siltstone, and carbonaceous siltstone deposited in a lake with paludal conditions at the margin; (2) upward-coarsening sequences of sandstone deposited on a delta and fan-delta; (3) channel-form sandstone deposited on a distal braided alluvial plain; (4) clast-supported conglomerate deposited on a proxial braided alluvial plain or distal alluvial fan; and (5) matrix-supported conglomerate deposited on a distal to middle alluvial fan. Petrographic analysis records an upsection change from a predominantly andesitic to a predominantly plutonic provenance. This change, combined with the overall upward-coarsening of the Wassuk Group and the great thickness (2400 m) of the sequence, suggests active uplift and rapid subsidence during deposition of the group. Facies relationships and paleocurrent directions indicate source areas to the south, southeast and west of Coal Valley. The Miocene Wassuk Group was deposited in an intra-arc basin with penecontemporaneous volcanism and tectonic activity. Syndepositional faulting at the southern margin of Coal Valley between 13 and 11 m.y. ago suggests an early episode of northeast-southwest extension prior to the onset of east-west basin and range extension. ?? 1984.
Additional publication details
Depositional environments and paleogeography of the Upper Miocene Wassuk Group, west-central Nevada